There are four phases in the return-to-work plan. Each phase will require approximately 2-3 weeks. Each stage of the plan will be guided by the following conditions:
- The number and rate of COVID19 cases on campus and in Transylvania County. Symptoms monitoring and temperature checking will be required.
- Testing, contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation capabilities are established on campus. These will be in place by August 1st.
- Environmental controls are in place to include the availability of personal protection equipment (PPE) and cleaning protocols to support the needs of faculty, staff and students, and campus operations, and reduce the spread of COVID19.
- The number of faculty and staff returning to the on-campus workforce supports the return of students.
If conditions during the next couple of months change significantly or there is a resurgence of COVID19 cases in Transylvania and/or North Carolina, the college will provide further guidance on institutional decisions and measures to be taken regarding the return of employees and students to the campus.
Prior to July 1, the college will appoint and train a COVID19 response team composed of faculty and staff members from each department. The team will be responsible for answering questions and serving as the primary contact for communications with the college.
Faculty, staff and students will be provided clear guidelines and frequent reminders that if they have symptoms of COVID19, cold/flu-like symptoms, or other illness, they are to stay at home, contact their supervisor and seek medical attention as appropriate. All employees returning to campus will be required to wear a face covering, practice social distancing, and follow hand-hygiene protocol. The college will provide signage, supplies, and support systems.
The college will be developing an online symptoms checker and contract tracing app with Qualtrics. The use of the app will be vital to a successful re-opening and fall semester. The app will provide up to date information that will allow decisions to keep our campus community safe.
Phase 1: June 15-June 28, Initial Phase
During Phase 1, departments will bring not more than 30% of their workforce back to campus. Only employees deemed essential and unable to complete work from a remote site will be scheduled to return to campus. The college will use Phase I to test the protocols and procedures to protect our community. The college will use the information from Phase I to learn and make adjustments as necessary in preparation for Phase II. It is important that 12 month employees confer with their immediate supervisor and/or area Vice President as to when it is appropriate for them to return to work.
Employees who are high-risk and vulnerable should not return during Phase I and should remain working remotely. Employees that can effectively work from home and whose presence is not required to support the return of students and college functions should also continue working from home. Adjusting work schedules, limiting the number of people in the workplace, alternating work days for employees, adjusting start and end times for employees, and adjusting entry and exit points in the workplace should all be considered and will help ensure flexibility and social distancing. The college will work with employees with small children that require daycare to provide flexible scheduling as duties permit.
Offices, workspaces, and/or classrooms should be adjusted, if possible, to meet the 6-feet distancing requirement. Additional measures should be considered to prevent COVID-19, including but not limited to:
- Health care monitoring of employees to ensure individuals do not come to work sick
- Face coverings are required. Please read the face covering policy for more information.
- Restricting or prohibiting non-essential visitors
- Utilizing a video or phone conferencing instead of face-to-face meetings
- Workplace modifications
- Reducing the number of workstations or staggering schedules/days of the week
- Placing plexiglass or other barriers that would limit the connection to other workstations or in the areas with high traffic (front desk in Beam Admin., Mail Room, Bookstore, Library, etc.)
- Reducing the number of chairs in waiting areas, lobbies and classrooms
- Developing flow patterns throughout the buildings to allow for reduced contact and discourage congregation
- Increase ventilation air exchanges, if feasible
- Foot openers or propping doors open should be considered to avoid high-touch surfaces
- Ensuring signage to encourage the 3 Ws; Wear a mask, Wash hands at least 5 times a day and Wait six feet apart
- Provide hand and respiratory hygiene products
- Work with facilities and housekeeping to ensure appropriate cleaning and sanitizing of the workspace, classrooms, residence halls, athletic facilities, etc.. Each area will be given an initial sanitation kit for the area from facilities. Areas will submit a work request to have the supplies replenished.
- Restricting and/or prohibiting nonessential, college-related travel. If vehicle travel is necessary, minimize the number of occupants in the vehicle is highly recommended
Each office will submit workplace protocols for the area to the Vice President in the area. The Vice President will bring the protocols to ELT for final approval. If the college feels the protocols are in place and are working, continuation to Phase 2 will be considered after a period of two to three weeks.
Phase 2: June 29-July 21
(A determination as to whether the college will move into phase 3 will be made by July 21. This date remains tentative.) The college will increase the workforce to 60% for each department. All guidelines of Phase 1 remain in force.
Phase 3: July 21-August 2
During Phase 3, the remaining workforce (excluding employees who have been authorized or directed to continue to work from home) will return to campus to conduct final preparations for the 2020 academic year and the full return of our students. All guidelines and requirements established in Phase 1 above continue to apply and must be implemented by departments. The exception to Phase 1 guidelines for Phase 3 will be in-person meetings. In-person meetings will be allowed as long as all members wear a mask and meet in a room that will allow for 6 feet physical distancing. If all conditions are met, Phase 4 will be considered on August 3.
Phase 4: Projected August 3
Phase 4 will be a continuation of Phases 1-3 with the addition of guidelines for students, and protocols for the dining hall, coffee shop, classrooms, etc. Specific guidelines and protocols for faculty will be announced in the next few weeks by the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. All protocols will be posted on MyBrevard and adjusted as conditions warrant.